Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Texas 2012 Primary Election Schedule - Candidate Filing Period OPEN again - May 29 Election July 31 Runoff


The Republican Party of Texas and Texas Democratic Party submitted a proposed order this evening addressing changes to the election schedule needed to accommodate a May 29 primary. The court will likely approve this new schedule in a court order.

Under the parties’ proposal:

•The filing period would reopen Friday, March 2, and close a week later on Friday, March 9 at 6 p.m.

•Ballot order draws would need to occur in each county on or before March 12, 2012.

•Precinct boundaries would need to be redrawn by or before March 20, 2012.

•Military and overseas mail ballots would need to be mailed by April 14, 2012.

•New voter registration certificates would need to be issued by April 25, 2012.

•The primary runoff would be July 31, 2012.

The parties did not agree on residency requirements for state house and state senate. The RPT proposes requiring residency to be established by the March 9 filing deadline. The TDP proposes only that candidates live in a district by the time they take the oath of office in January, arguing that it would be “inequitable to require people who only learned of districts yesterday to move in the next two weeks.”
The parties also disagreed on precinct chair elections, with the Republican party and election administrators preferring precinct chair elections take place on July 31 with the runoff and only a plurality vote required for election. The Democratic party prefers that precinct chair elections take place on May 29, saying that they did not anticipate a statewide runoff election.

The order also addressed independent candidates by changing the deadline for such candidates to file applications for a spot on the ballot to June 29, 2012 and waiving provisions of the Texas Election Code that invalidated signatures collected for independent candidates if they were collected before the date of the Texas primary.

The proposed order can be found here.

New RPT 2012 Temporary/Emergency Rule Changes PASSED today by SREC

The State Republican Executive Committee adopted temporary and emergency RPT rule changes today regarding the Convention/Delegate Selection Process. We had to change the rules because the Primary election has been pushed back.

The Final Version of rule changes that we passed will not be typed up and posted online for another day or so. When it gets posted online you will be able to read the new changes at the RPT website: and I will also post them on this website early next week (I have military training this weekend and will not have computer access)

Basically, the final version of the rules that we passed today was pretty much the same as what was proposed here

Precinct Conventions are optional and each County/Senatorial Executive Committee can vote to have Precinct Conventions with a majority vote.

A change was made to the rules that would make all delegates unbound after the first round vote at the National Convention. In the event of a brokered convention and there is more than one vote, the delegates will be unbound and will be able to vote for any presidential candidate. In other words, the 155 delegates that Texas sends to the Republican National Convention will vote for the Presidential Candidate that they are assigned to vote for proportionally based on the statewide Texas Primary Election results. After the first vote, these 155 delegates will then be released to vote for any candidate they want.

It is VERY important to vote for good conservative delegates at our congressional caucuses at the State Republican Convention because the next President might be decided by these delegates!
The SREC did not adopt a proposed change that would have made the Texas Republican primary winner-take-all. This means Texas will have a weaker voice in the Presidential Race because Texas will not be able to put all of the delegates from Texas behind the candidate who wins Texas in the Primary Election. The reason for voting against this change was primarily due to fear of the DOJ not accepting it. I do not understand why we are caving to the DOJ but I guess I am only one voice.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Texas GOP Analysis by RPT Staff of 2012 Court Ordered Interim Maps

On Tuesday afternoon, the San Antonio three-judge federal panel overseeing Texas redistricting posted new maps for the State House, State Senate and U.S. Congress. We are awaiting a formal order enacting these maps, however, we expect that these will be the final maps issued by the panel. The Republican Party of Texas has carefully analyzed these maps since their release and is providing our staff's findings via this email.
You can click on the above link to see the full analysis of the new State House districts in PDF format. This analysis shows side-by-side comparisons of the number of Republican districts under the maps used in the 2010 elections, the districts that were originally drawn by the Texas Legislature, the districts that were drawn by the three-judge panel in 2011 (and which were subsequently challenged), and the districts that the three-judge panel has issued today. The percentages are based on the average of the top 9 statewide Republican candidates in the 2010 General Election.

Our staff's analysis leads to the conclusion that while the new State House map creates one less Republican district (defined as a district being over 50% Republican) than the map drawn by the Legislature - it is an improvement over the previous map issued by the San Antonio three-judge panel, which drew three less Republican districts. Thus, Attorney General Abbott's appeal of the interim maps to the Supreme Court has yielded two more Republican districts than if he had not appealed. In addition, the new map creates the same number of districts as the original legislative map which are over 48% Republican, that being 102. This represents an improvement of one over the previous map drawn by the San Antonio three-judge panel. The new map also creates three more Republican districts over 55% than the previous map drawn by the San Antonio three-judge panel, although this is four districts less than the original legislative maps. However, the new map actually has three more districts over 55% than existed in 2010.

Court Releases 2012 Texas Interim Redistricting Congressional, State Rep & State Senate Maps. See Them Here! May 29th Primary Election Probable


The San Antonio 3 Judge Federal Panel has released the 2012 Interim Maps for the Texas. After Months of waiting as a result of a redistricting court battle, the people of Texas will finally know what Districts they will be in for the upcoming Congressional, State Senate, and State Representative 2012 Primary and General election.

Counties and Candidates all across Texas will finally get to plan for their elections, draw county maps, file to run for office, send out voter registration cards, etc.

Now that the Federal Court has finally released the Interim 2012 maps, it is very likely that May 29th, 2012 will be the Date of the 2012 Texas Republican Primary Election

Click on the Links Below to see the maps and see what District you will be in!

Texas 2012 Interim State House of Representatives Map:
CLICK HERE: WHEN YOU CLICK ON THE LINK FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS TO SEE THE MAP: (if the map does not show when you click on this link then go to the top left of the page and click on on select plan, scroll down to to base plan, when a new window pops up click on category and then scroll down to court ordered interim House Plan planH309)
Texas 2012 Interim State House of Representatives Map

Texas 2012 Interim State Senate Map:
CLICK HERE: WHEN YOU CLICK ON THE LINK FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS TO SEE THE MAP: (if the map does not show when you click on this link then go to the top left of the page and click on on select plan, scroll down to to base plan, when a new window pops up click on category and then scroll down to court ordered interim Senate Plan planS172)
Texas 2012 Interim State Senate Map:

Texas 2012 Interim Congressional Map:
CLICK HERE: WHEN YOU CLICK ON THE LINK FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS TO SEE THE MAP: (if the map does not show when you click on this link then go to the top left of the page and click on on select plan, scroll down to to base plan, when a new window pops up click on category and then scroll down to court ordered interim Congressional Plan planC235)
Texas 2012 Interim Congressional Map:

Proposed “Winner Take All/Proportional” Amendments to the Proposed 2012 Emergency RPT Rules

UPDATE: I have added a couple more amendments below that are more proportional and give delegates to candidates based on each congressional district that they win.

Below are three different amendments to THE PROPOSED TEMPORARY AND EMERGENCY CHANGES TO RPT RULES. These three amendments pertain to RPT Rule 38/Delegate Selection and are submitted by SREC SD3 member David Bellow.

I will present these three amendments to the SREC and it is my hope that ONE of these amendments will be approved by the SREC at the February 29th, 2012 Emergency SREC meeting.

Each one of these proposals is different, but they all will give more delegates (in some form or fashion) to the candidate who wins the Texas Presidential Primary Election. These proposals will allow the state of Texas to have a stronger voice in the National Presidential Race vs. the straight Proportional plan that Texas currently has.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Joe Straus Attacks Conservatives: Raising Money to Defeat Republican Incumbent James White

Republican State Representative
James White
 Joe Straus (Texas Speaker of House) is OPENLY launching an all out attack to oust one of our most conservative State Representatives, James White. Straus is holding a fundraiser in Austin this week to raise money to defeat Republican Incumbent James White.

Also, Joe Straus Endorses Mitt Romney after Poll Shows Santorum has Commanding Lead in Texas.

I do not support James White based on the fact that he is one of the few Black Republican state leaders. I do not vote based on race. I support James White because he is one of our most Conservative State Representatives! White was already hurt in redistricting (along with many other conservatives who Straus did not like) and now Straus is openly campaigning against him. WHY?? It might have something to do with James White beating long time Democrat Jim McReynolds (a Straus Chairman) in the 2010 election. Also, a new Texas Tribune poll shows that Rick Santorum is going to win Texas by a landslide. Straus responds by endorsing Mitt Romney.

Note: I have no ill-will towards Mike Hamilton. Hamilton has been my State Rep for some time now. I wish Hamilton would not have moved. I wish Hamilton would have stayed where he was at and he would have run against moderate State Rep. Allan Ritter. I would have supported Hamilton over Ritter. Instead, Hamilton decided to play politics with redistricting and move to another county to run against Super Conservative James White. I do not vote based on who my friends are or who has been my State Rep for the last decade. I vote based on who the best candidate is. Between Hamilton and White, White is more conservative hands down. White has my vote. Also, it is now clear to me that Hamilton is being supported by Straus because Hamilton tried to push a gambling bill for Straus in the last legislative session. This is very disappointing...
the following is an article from Empower Texans about what is going on:

Straus Bets Big Against Conservatives

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is once again campaigning against conservatives in 2012. In state, he is fundraising against the re-election of conservative State Rep. James White

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Blacks for Obama" Racially Segregates Voters - Affirmative Action in Supreme Court

During Black History Month, Obama released a new video announcing the launch of BLACKS FOR OBAMA. (see video below)

This is an attempt to segregate voters based on RACE instead of voters joining together in groups based on VALUES. Minorities actually tend to be conservative in their beliefs and they are waking up to the realization that Obama is WAY TOO LIBERAL. So what do you do? You take the focus off of the values and you put the focus on race and drive a racial divide through the Heart of America.

Not only is it racist to segregate voters by race, it also shows how hypocritical things are in America.

Whites for Romney? Whites for Clinton? Whites for anyone White who wants to run for office? Of course those groups would never exist in America. That would be racist! But blacks for Obama is not racially dividing at all right? For the record, I would be against any groups (white, black, Hispanic) that are formed together solely on the basis of race instead of formed on the basis of values. I believe people should vote for someone based on the content of their character and not the color of their skin. I don't care if you are black, white, Hispanic or whatever. I will vote for you if you are a conservative and I will vote against you if you are a liberal. I fully support Ted Cruz for US Senate (Cuban) and one of my most favorite Texas State Representatives, and one of the most conservative Republican State Representatives in Texas, is State Representative James White (Black).

Should TX GOP go Winner Take All? Is RNC Changing Stupid Presidential Primary Rules?

Should the Republican Party of Texas go back to winner take all?

The State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) will vote on Feb 29th, 2012 to change the rules and approve a Temporary Convention/Delegate Selection Plan. Should the SREC vote to also change the RPT Presidential Delegate Selection Rule 38 from proportional back to winner take all? Also, should the RPT change the rules to allow the presidential delegates to be uncommitted after the first committed vote at the National Convention? In other words, if no presidential Candidate has a majority of the votes to win the nomination, the Texas Delegation would be able to be a player in a brokered convention by having the ability to team up with other delegates from other states and select the next Republican Presidential Nominee? Proportional might sound good vs winner take all because under proportional the candidates get a proportion of Texas delegates based on the percentage of the votes they get in the state Primary Election. The problem is that proportional weakens states rights. With proportional we might as well just have a big nation-wide popular vote. With winner take all, the State of Texas (as well as all states with winner take all) has a much bigger impact on the Presidential race because the candidate who wins Texas really does win Texas and gets all of the delegate votes from the State.  Same thing with the Electoral College. The President does not win by a national popular vote. The President wins by the electoral college and he wins by winning the most states, not the most people. It is all about states rights and not about a national popular vote. With Texas having such a late election, we need all the power we can to have an impact on the Presidential race!
Let me know what you think!

RNC Considering Changing their Stupid Presidential Primary National Rules

What was the Republican National Committee thinking when they decided to let 4 states go ahead of everyone else without a penalty? What were they thinking when they FORCED the Republican Party of Texas to have a diluted voice in the Presidential Primary by making Texas change from winner take all to proportional?

Official RPT Redistricting Update XI: It Is All Up To The Courts: June 26th Primary Election POSSIBLE

The following message is an official Texas Redistricting/Primary Election update from the Republican Party of Texas:

Redistricting Update XI: It Is All Up To The Courts

The fate of the redistricting maps now rests solely with the three-judge panel in San Antonio. As of the time of this update, a global agreement between all parties has not been reached relative to the Texas House and Texas Congressional districts. Therefore, the final decisions as to where the lines will be are in the hands of the three-judge panel. The panel set deadlines for parties to submit final briefs on various issues and that deadline has now passed. This now means that all the arguments are over and all we are waiting for now is for the Court to rule.

If the Court issues maps on or before March 3rd, then the May 29th primary date can be accomplished - assuming a re-opened filing period can be accomplished within a few days. If the Court issues new maps after March 3rd, then the next and final available primary date would be June 26th. To accomplish a June 26th primary, maps would still need to be issued by March 30th to meet the June 26th date.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dewhurst Says Meeting at Obama Friend House was No Fundraiser for TX GOP Senate Race

This morning I posted a story on from regarding a meeting for David Dewhurst held at an Obama friend’s house. This story form Big Government alleged that Dewhurst had a fundraiser at the house and got cash from these Liberals.

Since then, there have been new developments. David Dewhurst has sent a response stating that the meeting at this house was NOT a fundraiser.

Below are both the new Story and the Previous Story. What do you think?

Dewhurst Campaign Says Podesta Group Meeting Was No Fundraiser
After our story yesterday regarding David Dewhurst’s attendance at what had been described as a fundraiser held by the Podesta Group at the Podesta townhouse, Dewhurst’s campaign contacted us with additional information.
Here’s what Dave Beckwith of Dewhurst for Texas had to say:

TX AG Greg Abbott Challenges Constitutionality of Obamacare Mandate Against Religious Organizations

It looks like Catholic Bishops are not the only ones fighting back against Obamacare's Attack on Religion. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has joined in the fight too!

With so many challenges to the Obamacare, including one that the US Supreme Court will hear very soon in March 2012, it is very likely that the Obamacare mandates will be struck down as unconstitutional. If not, it is very likely that the legislature will repeal or change Obamacare in order to stay in office because the majority of Americans are against the Obamacare mandates.

Official News Release from the Republican Party of Texas:

AG Greg Abbott Challenges Constitutionality of Obamacare Mandate Against Religious Organizations
AUSTIN - On Thursday afternoon, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that Texas is joining several states in challenging the constitutionality of the federal government's rule compelling religious organizations to provide health coverage that is at odds with their belief structure and values.

In his statement, Abbott said, "Obamacare's latest mandate tramples the First Amendment's Freedom of Religion and compels people of faith to act contrary to their convictions. The President's so-called 'accommodation' was nothing but a shell game: the mandate still requires religious organizations to subsidize and authorize conduct that conflicts with their religious principles. The very first amendment to our Constitution was intended to protect against this sort of government intrusion into our religious convictions."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The Draft Plan Has Finally Been Released!

EVERY REPUBLICAN WANTING TO GET INVOLVED in the Republican Party of Texas Convention/Delegate Selection Process MUST READ THIS!

It is very good and very intricate. It hopefully will answer most of the questions that everyone has. If not then please feel free to email us with questions or comments.

The SREC will vote on a final plan on Feb 29th, 2012 at 12pm at the RPT Headquarters in Austin.


When you click on the link to go to the draft plan you will first read the summary of the draft plan, and then the full plan is below the Summary.

Two Important Items of Interest in this plan are:

1) As previously reported, Precinct Conventions will be OPTION. Each County/Senatorial District will vote on whether or not to have them. They DO NOT have to just be on the morning of the County/Senatorial Convention (they could have it like a week before with proper notice), and they can be in any location(s) that the County/Senatorial District decides

2) For those out there worried about Democrats trying to get involved in the Convention, we will have everyone sign a Republican Party Pledge or show that they have voted Republican in past elections. We will also inform everyone that it is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE to attend the Republican Conventions and vote in any other Party's primary or go to any other Party's convention for that year.


Cruz vs. Dewhurst US Senate Runoff Election VERY LIKELY new Texas Tribune Poll Suggests

A new Texas Tribune/UT poll released today indicates that the Cruz Surge continues and he’s headed to a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Here’s a summary of the new independent, statewide poll:
  • Dewhurst is at 38%, Cruz 27% and the next two candidates are 20 points behind at 7%.
  • This means the race is headed for a runoff between Cruz and Dewhurst.
  • Despite being in statewide office for 14 years and having universal name ID among GOP primary voters, the Lt. Governor is far from closing in on the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. AndCruz is in a solid second place, and surging strongly.
  • A runoff would overwhelmingly favor Cruz, given that the most engaged and conservative voters would dominate a runoff – informed conservative voters are a nightmare for Dewhurst.
  • Here’s how UT pollster Jim Henson summarizes the situation:“Cruz is in the advantageous position right now of, for the most part, defending his ideas against Dewhurst's record. In the last few cycles, that's been a good place to be, and not to be the person who's having to defend your actions in government.”
  • Henson added these numbers are a “yellow flag” for Dewhurst. And the Texas Tribune noted that Cruz is looming in the rearview mirror of Dewhurst.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Should Republican Party of Texas Sue DOJ over Voting Rights Act Preclearance Constitutionality?

Disclaimer: the following article is the opinion of David Bellow, an individual who is on the SREC, and does not express the "official opinion" of the Republican Party of Texas

The State of Texas is under assault by the Department of Justice and the Voting Rights Act.  All this Texas redistricting mess (and the pushing back of the Primary Election date) is due to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which requires a few states to have any voting changes approved by the Department of Justice first (because somehow it is better to have one unelected, biased person, the Attorney General Eric Holder, decide how a state runs elections instead of the elected officials of the state determining it for themselves)

The Republican Party of Texas, not just the State of Texas, is also facing the same, unconstitutional oppression. The Texas GOP is faced with possibly having no precinct conventions, or limited precinct conventions, that are only optional with approval of counties/senatorial districts. Why is this happening? It is happening because the RPT has to come up with a way to have our convention/delegate selection process BEFORE the Primary Election this year due to the Primary Election getting pushed back possible past the date of the State Convention. Somewhere along the line, the DOJ extended its hand into the Republican Party of Texas, a private organization, not a public or government organization. This new RPT convention/delegate selection process must first be cleared by the DOJ. We do not know when or if the new process will be cleared, and it could take weeks.  Because of this uncertainty in the timeline, the Republican Party of Texas is strongly leaning towards makingprecinct conventions optional (to be decided by the county or senatorial district executive committees). Also, because we just do not know when the plan will be cleared by the DOJ, if precinct conventions do happen, they would be on the morning of the county/senatorial convention date (April 21st or April 14th in some cases).

Does DOJ Voting Rights Act Oversight Apply to Private Political Parties/entities like the Texas GOP?

It is clear that the (unconstitutional) section 5 of the Voting Rights Act applies to election changes made in the State of Texas, but does it apply to the convention process changes of a private political party in Texas?

I say NO. The Republican Party of Texas is a PRIVATE political entity. Our process, by nature, is restricted to, and is guided is by, the values/rules of only the members of our private Republican Party organization. Our process is not subject to the regulations for public elections/voting. Our party conventions DO NOT elect public officials or determine public policy/laws for the general public in Texas. Our convention process is used to develop our party rules/values and also to elect leaders of our PRIVATE POLITICAL ORGANIZATION. Any changes that the Republican Party of Texas makes to our convention process have NO EFFECT on the election process of public elections and voting. Public elections (electing public officials and voting on state and local regulations) are run by the governmental bodies in Texas, not the political parties in Texas. Changes to RPT rules do not effect general, public elections (or access to them) and certainly do not prevent anyone from voting for whomever or whatever they choose to in ANY public elections.

It is wrong that the RPT even has to get DOJ approval for our RPT Convention/Delegate Selection Process

Is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act even Constitutional?

Should Texas Join Other States like Alabama and South Carolina in Openly Challenging the Voting Rights Act in the Courts?

11)      Section 5 requires some states to have their plans approved by the DOJ while other states do not have to have anything approved. It is inequitable to have one standard for some states and a different standard from some states. That is like having one school for blacks and one school for whites. The different standards also creates a situation where you have some states, like Illinois, getting to pass voter ID laws but Texas cannot pass them because the DOJ will not let us. How is it constitutional that one state can have a regulation but then Texas cannot have the same regulation because the DOJ does not like it?

22)      Another reason why section 5 of the voting rights act is unconstitutional is that there is no difference today between southern states and northern states in the sense that there is no institutionalized racism anymore and there is certainly NO states trying to keep minorities from voting. When the voting rights act was initially passed it was a good thing. DEMOCRAT controlled southern states had laws discriminating against minorities and preventing them from voting. Those days are long gone. Anyone can vote no matter what color you are. Anyone of any color can be elected to public office in any state. Heck, the President is half black! My friend and conservative Texas State Rep, James White who is black, was elected here in East Texas based on his values, not the color of his skin. That right there shows you that the issue of minorities being restricted from voting, or even restricted from running for office, is long gone.

33)      Some parts of the Voting Rights Act are being used to CREATE INSTITUTIONAZED RACISM. That’s right, it was passed to stop discrimination but now it is creating discrimination. It is nothing short of racist and discriminatory to say that voting districts have to be drawn based on race and that some races must have their own voting districts while other races cannot have their own voting districts. It is just silly. I don’t think ANY voting district should have the district drawn based on race, whether white black or Hispanic. We, as Americans, have to stop using race as a factor in everything we do. We need to look at each other as all fellow Americans and stop looking at race. It is keeping us apart instead of allowing us to come together. It is keeping people together in groups based on the color of their skin instead of allowing people to group together based on their values and regardless of the color of their skin. Will we never have a nation where people are judged based on the content of their character instead of the color of their skin as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed?

44)       The Voting Rights Act is being used to preserve DEMOCRAT districts and not minority districts. It is crazy but true. There are some districts in Texas that Democrats are trying to preserve using the courts. These districts are not majority minority districts. In other words, a majority of the voters in the district are not minority voters. The majority of the district is white. This makes them not protected by the Voting Rights Act as a majority minority district. The only reason the Democrats are trying to protect these Districts is because they are DEMOCRAT Districts. The Democrats argue that the minorities in the district team up to vote with part of the white people in the district and therefore it should be protected as a majority minority district. This is what the Voting Rights Act has become? A way for Democrats to keep districts without regard to protecting minorities?

Texas Should Have Acted Sooner by having a Split Primary and Challenging the Voting Rights Act
I knew that the Democrats and liberal judges would drag this out and push back the election, which is why, from the beginning, I advocated for a split election so that we could go ahead and have the some parts of the Texas Primary Elections now (Presidential, County-wide, State-wide) and we could also have the Party Conventions/Delegate Selection. This would have allowed us to get the conventions and presidential primary election out of the way while the State and the Courts battled over redistricting/primary election date for US Congress, State Senate and State Representative.

I also advocated that Texas challenge Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act from the beginning of this whole mess. That would certainly have fast tracked the issue to the Supreme Court where they will hopefully strike down parts of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional. I am sure Texas will eventually join other states in challenging the Voting Rights Act in the near future, but because we did not challenge it from the beginning, we are stuck with it until this mess is all sorted out in the Courts.

Neither of the above ideas happened of course and that is why we are in the big mess we are in with the Primary Elections getting pushed back to May 29th, 2012 at the earliest.

This also means that we have to do our conventions and delegate process before we even have the primary elections. This causes MANY problems like who gets to go to the conventions since we cannot verity if they are Democrat or Republican? Who will run the conventions if we have not elected new county party leaders? Who will pay for the precinct conventions and locations since the conventions will no longer just be at the already established primary election polling places? Is there even time for counties to be able to organize their Precinct Conventions?

The fact of the matter is that this is a BIG MESS and there will be NO perfect plan. There will be many problems and many people will be upset. We just have to do what we can with a bad situation.

What should the RPT do about the DOJ and our Convention Process?

Here are three plans that I think are options:

Plan 1) The Republican Party of Texas can just say no to the DOJ and go ahead with our precinct conventions now instead of waiting for approval of our plan (we would still have the problems associated with having the conventions before the Primary Election). This decision to ignore the DOJ would probably be challenged and an injunction placed against the RPT and our entire convention process could be put on hold and would be in jeopardy until we battle up to the Supreme Court and get a ruling from them as to whether or not we were justified in ignoring the DOJ.
Plan 2) The RPT can go ahead and come up with plans to submit to the DOJ. The DOJ would likely approve the plans but we would have to wait a couple of weeks for them to do it. This would allow Texas to have our conventions/delegate selection process without any legal problems from the DOJ or Judges. This would also mean that we would probably not have Precinct Conventions, or they would be optional, due to the limited time we will have to organize everything since we have to wait for DOJ approval. (This is currently the plan that the RPT is leaning towards)
Plan 3) The RPT sues the DOJ over the Voting Rights Act. We could sue the DOJ now before we have our conventions, which might cause a convention holdup, or we can go ahead and follow the DOJ approval process for now so that way we can have the conventions and get those out of the way before we take on the task of suing the DOJ. No matter what we do, I think we should still end up suing the DOJ. This of course would cost money. The RPT does not have any extra month for an expensive lawsuit so the Republicans in Texas would have to stand up and donate money to help the RPT sue over the Voting Rights Act.

A 2009 US Supreme Court Ruling sets up the Supreme Court to Strike Down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act
There are multiple lawsuits challenging the Constitutionality of parts o the Voting Rights Act. At least one of them, out of Shelby County in Alabama, is on a fast track to be heard in the US Supreme Court this year.
Following renewal of the Voting Rights act in 2006, a Texas utility district challenged the constitutionality of the preclearance provision, claiming that it went beyond Congress’s power because Congress could no longer show that the law was necessary to prevent racially discriminatory voting.

In that 2009 case, the court came very close to striking down the law. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. questioned whether there was evidence that these states, and only these states, would go back to racial discrimination in voting if the Voting Rights Act disappeared. He compared the government’s argument that preclearance was still necessary to an “elephant whistle”: “Well there are no elephants, so it must work.”
Chief Justice Roberts wrote a disingenuous opinion for eight members of the court resolving the question on statutory grounds — holding that the utility district could apply to “bail out” from coverage under the act — and temporarily avoiding the constitutional issue and political fallout. The opinion gave a clear warning that Congress needed to fix the problems in the act. Congress has done nothing about it and now there will be another showdown in the Supreme Court.

David Bellow is a Texas SREC Member who Writes a Blog with Conservative Republican Information and Opinions

For clarification purposes:

All the articles I ever write are based either my opinion or my take on the facts involved. I am a member on the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) in Texas, and I am involved in the inner workings of the Republican Party of Texas and yet I am also an outsider because I am young and was just elected to the SREC with no ties to anyone in the State Party. I desire to keep people up to date with what is going on in the Republican Party of Texas. Heck, some people do not even know what the SREC is or what we do. Most people certainly do not know about the important issues that we vote on during our meetings. I actively stand up for Republican values and I want more people to be more informed and involved. I even filed a personal lawsiot against the Unconstitutional healthcare law! I want people to be involved and be heard and and I want people to be informed. For this reason, I send out email updates about what is going on. I routinely send out information and polls that request input from you, the Republican voters in Texas. I do not speak for the other members of the SREC and I am not the official Party Spokesman. I have NEVER declared that I was. I always thought it was pretty clear that I am just a member of the SREC who writes a blog to get information out so people can know what is going on. If anyone every wants to stop getting emails from me they just have to click a link at the bottom of one of the emails they get from me. The other members of the SREC might not always completely agree on everything I say or they might have a different take on thing. That is just fine with me. The entire SREC rarely ever completely agrees on things and there are many votes split right down the middle. I work with everyone regardless of whether not we agree on every issue. I am not going to stop sending out information though simply because someone else on the SREC does not like what I am sending out. If someone does not agree with me then they can write their own article about what is going on and post it online for people to read. The more information the better! At least I am trying to keep people informed. The way I see it is I will gladly be guilty of putting out too many articles about what is going on instead of being guilty for not informing people enough about what is going on or for not standing for Republican values enough.


Michael “David” Bellow Jr.
State Republican Executive Committee SD3

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Texas Precinct Conventions will be OPTIONAL under New 2012 Republican Delegate Selection Process

Update: The New Draft Plan has come out and all counties and senatorial districts will be able to have precinct conventions (if they want) and they can be whenever and wherever the county or senatorial district wants. There is no big conspiracy to keep people from getting involved. Read more here

clarification: to all the Ron Paul Supporters emailing me. I can promise you that whatever plan the RPT comes up with, it WILL NOT be an attempt to keep Ron Paul supporters from being involved. In fact, if the RPT decided on only optional precinct conventions, there will be more of a chance for grassroots individuals to be involved because they will be able to go directly to being involved at the county convention instead of having to be chosen as a delegate at the precinct convention before they can go to the county convention.

The Texas GOP is entering into unknown and uncharted territory. We are now faced with having to do our Republican Conventions/Delegate Selection Process BEFORE we even have a primary election! This process has always been tied to the Primary election but this year it will not because of the belated Primary Election (see below for the normal process from previous years). The 62 members of the State Republican Executive Committee will be developing an entire new Convention/Delegate Selection Plan. We have already had a conference call in which we discussed the many different ideas and we agreed on the basic plan. This plan is VERY intricate and has many different moving parts, not to mention our hands are tied in many ways. Over the next 2 weeks, the RPT will pound out all the details of the plan. We will then have an emergency SREC meeting in Austin on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 and at this meeting we will vote to approve the plan. We cannot have the meeting any sooner because we have to have a 12 day notice before the meeting. The plan then has to be presented to the three Judge Federal Panel in San Antonio and then sent to the Department of Justice for approval (We can thank the unconstitutional Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act for having to do this). DOJ approval will then take at least a couple of weeks (usually takes 2 months but they will try to do it faster).
We are still developing the full plan and it is very complex. Therefore, right now I do not have the complete details of the plan to send out to everyone, but I will send out more information as soon as the RPT releases the details of this plan.
I know that everyone will have MANY questions about the new plan after reading this article. I ask that everyone please wait until we have all the details worked out and emailed out to everyone. We should have a draft with more details to email out in the next few days. After we release the complete plan, feel free to ask questions or share concerns.

I WANT YOUR OPINIONS BEFORE WE VOTE! I would just like you to wait until we send out a DRAFT plan so that way you can ask questions AFTER you have read the plan. There will be time before we vote for you to send us your concerns!
Precinct Conventions will be Optional and will be the Morning of the County/Senatorial District Conventions.
The most important thing right now that I want to let everyone know, and this detail will not change, is that Republican Party of Texas Precinct Conventions will be optional. Each County Executive Committee will vote on whether or not to have them, and if they decide to have them, they will be on the morning of the County/Senatorial District Conventions which are currently approved by the Federal Panel to be on April 21st (or April 14th for some counties). This date for the County/Senatorial Cenventions could change if needed but that is what we are planning for and we would not want to push it back much more so that we will have time to get ready for the State Convention June 7th – 9th, 2012 in Fort Worth, TX. We cannot change the date and location of the Texas Republican State Convention 2012.
This is a Glimpse How the Convention/Delegate Selection Process Will Work THIS YEAR:
Rumors had gone around that the Republican Party of Texas would not have precinct Conventions at all and instead we would jump straight into the County/Senatorial District Conventions and then the State Convention June 7th – 9th, 2012 in Fort Worth, TX.
In response, there have been many emails going around stating that the Republican Party of Texas has to have Precinct Conventions because we have to keep the grassroots involved and so we must not do away with the Precinct Conventions. I was one of those people insisting that the RPT does not eliminate the Precinct Conventions. There were many great ideas and plans submitted to the SREC showing us how we can still have Precinct Conventions. I was 100% in favor of using some of these ideas or coming up with a way to have precinct conventions.
The SREC had a conference call to discuss a new Convention/Delegate Process and we got a little eye opening session.
We looked at the timeline and realized that we have NO IDEA when our new delegate selection plan will even be approved by the DOJ. This makes it impossible to create a timeline that includes a separate precinct convention date before a County/Senatorial Convention because we do not even know when we will get approval or even if that approval will be in time to be able to have a Precinct Convention. On top of that, there is an ENORMOUS amount of work that would have to be done by the County Parties in a very limited amount of time. There are over 5500 precincts in Texas what would need precinct conventions/locations/organization and Precinct Convention Chairmen. Even if we get approval in time for a precinct convention, and each county had the precinct conventions all combined in one location and used old precinct chairmen, the counties would simply not have enough time to organize 5500 precinct conventions and then have to turn around and quickly plan the county convention and process all the paperwork from the precinct conventions.
It is just not possible. There are MANY reasons why it is not possible and the reasons above are just a couple of the many reasons. Ya’ll know me and ya’ll know I fight for things. I was ready to fight for Precinct Conventions but we just simply do not have a choice.
We listen to the grassroots Republicans and we have come up with a solution so that we can still have Precinct Conventions.
You CAN still have Precinct Conventions if your County Wants to…
It would not have been fair for the State Party to FORCE all counties into scrambling to organize Precinct Conventions with limited time and resources. At the same time, we are listening to the grassroots and we WANT any County to be able to have precinct conventions if the Republicans of that county would like to and are able to. For this reason, we are allowing the Executive Committee of every county in Texas the option of voting to have Precinct Conventions in their county. We do not have a timeline set because of the DOJ approval holdup, so if a County approves having Precinct Conventions, the Precinct Conventions would be on the morning of the County/Senatorial District Conventions and at the same location. It does not seem possible to plan for Precinct Conventions in 5500 different locations and on a different date before the County/Senatorial conventions so the next best thing would be to have Precinct Conventions on the same day and same location as the County/Senatorial Conventions.
Having No Precinct Conventions and Only a County/Senatorial District Convention Actually Allows for MORE Grassroots Republicans to be Involved
One of the reasons why I and others were insisting on having Precinct Conventions was so that all of the grassroots Republicans would still be able to be involved in the process. What I found out was that MORE people will have to opportunity to be involved if there are no Precinct Conventions. You see, when there is a Precinct Convention, each precinct selects delegates to go to the County/Senatorial District Convention. That means not everyone at the Precinct Convention gets a chance to be involved in the County/Senatorial Conventions. On the other hand, if there are no Precinct Conventions, EVERYONE gets to go to the County/Senatorial District Conventions. Everyone gets to be involved in that next step. Not having a Precinct Convention actually allows MORE Republicans to be involved in the process. It will also cut down on confusion and workload by having one date and location to be able to announce to all Republicans in the County.  Not having a Precinct Convention will of course mean the County/Senatorial Conventions will be much bigger than normal and it might take a little longer to decide on rules/platform changes.
The 155 National Delegates elected at the Texas Republican State Convention will NOT be assigned a Presidential Candidate to Vote for, initially.
Due to the Election being right before the June Convention (maybe even after), the National Delegates chosen at the State Convention will NOT KNOW who they will be casting their ballot for in the Presidential Nomination at the National Convention. Once Texas certifies the Presidential Primary Election Results, the national delegates who were elected at the State Convention will then be told who they will be voting for at the National Convention. It will still be proportional as already planned. Proportional means that if someone, let’s say Santorum, gets 60 percent of the votes in the Texas Republican Primary Election then Santorum will get 60% of the 155 national delegate votes that Texas has. The delegates just will not know who they will be pledged to initially because they will have to wait until the Primary Election Results are in and certified.
Texas Might Actually Have an Impact in the Republican Presidential Race – Brokered Convention Possible.
I would have never believed this, but it looks like Texas might actually still have a voice in the Presidential Race. It looks like we might have all 4 current Presidential Candidates stick in the race until the end. So far, no one has jumped ahead very much in the Delegate Count because the vote keeps getting split and different candidates are winning different states. This means that there STILL might not be a clear Republican Nominee by the time Texas Votes on May 29th or in June. Texas will have 155 delegates and could swing the election for a candidate. Or, if one candidate is already in the lead, let’s say Mitt Romney, and Texas gives most of our Delegates to Santorum or Gingrich, then that might be enough to deny Mitt Romney a chance to get a majority of delegates and we will end up having a brokered convention. At a Brokered Convention, Texas will have a full 155 Delegates and therefore would have a huge say in the negotiations at a brokered convention.
For Those of You Who Are New to This Convention/Delegate Selection Process, Below is a little History Lesson on How the Convention/ Delegate Selection Process Has NORMALLY Worked IN THE PAST in Texas:
Each Precinct in Texas has a voting location on Election Day. In the past, voters would go to their polling place on the night of the Texas Republican Primary Election Day and there would be a Precinct Convention. Republicans at the Precinct Convention would submit changes/additions to Republican Party rules and Platform values. They would also pick delegates to go represent their precinct at the County/Senatorial Convention. Next would be the County/Senatorial District Conventions. The delegates at the County/Senatorial conventions would vote on the changes/additions to the rules/platform that were passed up to them from the Precinct Conventions. The delegates at the County/Senatorial District Conventions would also select delegates to represent the County/Senatorial District at the State Convention. Then there is the Texas Republican Party State Convention. All the delegates to the State Convention will vote to create the new Party Rules and the New Biennial Texas Republican Party Platform. The delegates of the State Convention will also vote on things like to elect a State Republican Party Chairman, new SREC Members, Delegates to the National Republican Convention to vote in the Republican Presidential Nomination, and two National Committee members to serve on the Republican National Committee (RNC). There is then a National Republican Convention and the National Delegates from every State will vote to pick the Republican Presidential Nominee. That is how the process would normally look if we were not in this big mess.

David Bellow
State Republican Executive Committee

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TX SREC Emergency Meeting over New Delegate Selection Process Due to May 29th (or June) Texas Republican Primary Election

The San Antonio Federal Court over the redistricting lawsuit has declared that Texas will not have a Primary Election before May 29th, 2012. We have been told to plan for an election on May 29th but that we could also have it as late as June 26th, 2012.

The problem with this late election is that we have to have the Republican Party of Texas State Convention at the beginning of June. Typically, we have a Precinct Convention, then a County Convention, and then the State Convention. The Precinct Convention, by law, is on the night of the Primary Election. With a May 29th, Primary there will be no time for all of that.

The only option that we have is to not tie the convention process tied to the Primary Election night.

We will have to go ahead and have the Precinct and County Conventions (maybe even the State Convention) BEFORE we have the Primary Election.

the State Republican Executive Committee will be having an emergency meeting (via telephone) with the RPT Chairman, Steve Munisteri, sometime in the next couple of days. We will then have an emergency meeting in Austin to vote to approve a new process. We will be coming up with a new convention/delegate selection process and timeline. We then have to present what we come up with to the 3 Judge San Antonio Federal Panel.

As soon as we come up with something, this information will be pushed out to everyone.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions for the SREC regarding a new process, please email me with you idea and I will pass it along.



David Bellow
State Republican Executive Committeeman
Senate District 3

Below is the latest update from the Republican Party of Texas:

Urgent Redistricting Update X: Primary Moved Again
This afternoon, the San Antonio three-judge panel indicated that the April unified primary election will be postponed and that it was probable (but not a certainty) that the new primary date will be May 29th. As previously reported, on Tuesday, county clerks and elections administrators testified that they need 88 days of lead time to prepare for a primary election from the date that new district maps are issued. Today at the hearing, the Texas Secretary of State's office indicated that this timeline could be shrunk to 77 days and reduced even further if military ballots were accepted for a short period of time after the primary.

Consequently, new maps need to be in place sometime between early and mid-March in order to maintain the May 29th primary date.

Chairman Munisteri discussed with the Court the problems a May 29th primary creates for the party's delegate selection process for the RPT State Convention. He reiterated that it is impossible to comply with the current Texas Election Code as it pertains to delegate selection, with the primary on May 29th and the State Convention in the first week of June. He strongly urged the Court to issue an order that would allow the State Republican Executive Committee to adopt a new delegate selection process which varies from the Election Code. He told the court that if there is sufficient time for planning, that in consultation with party leadership, he had several different options in mind which: would allow district conventions to still occur on schedule, allow for a May 29th primary, and still allow for a convention the next week. In general terms, he suggested different options which would completely de-couple the selection of delegates to the State Convention from the primary election.

The Court indicated it was very likely that they would grant such a request from the State Party, provided it received U.S. Department of Justice pre-clearance. Chairman Munisteri made the case that DOJ pre-clearance is not required in a case where the changes are made as a result of court order. However, the Court indicated that they thought it was a safer route to obtain pre-clearance. A Department of Justice attorney testified that his office would expedite such a request and anticipated that the approval time could be reduced from a couple of months to a couple of weeks, thereby allowing the change to occur.

The Court instructed both political parties to consult on a new schedule for a May 29th primary. It also invited the state parties to put forth separate proposals as to how they would select delegates and conduct their conventions. Chairman Munisteri is hoping to hold a telephone conference with members of the Republican Party of Texas Officials Committee tomorrow to go over various options. He plans within the next few days, to have a separate telephone conference with the entire SREC to go over recommendations from the Officials Committee. It is his hope that a consensus plan can be agreed upon by the SREC. If this is accomplished, he will distribute this plan to all County Chairmen to obtain their input, and then once a final plan is agreed upon - to propose the plan to the three-judge panel in San Antonio.

It is the Chairman's goal to develop a process around existing Senatorial and County conventions so as to minimize inconvenience and logistical problems. It remains his objective to keep the State Republican Convention scheduled as planned during the first week of June. We will provide further information over the next few days as to developments in this regard.

Also on Wednesday - Chairman Munisteri, RPT lawyers and staff spent another day in the courtroom listening to final arguments in the redistricting case. It appears as though there is an agreement between the Attorney General and the Democrats on a new Texas State Senate map. As soon as we have full details, we will provide them to you - but it is expected that the final lines will make it possible for a Republican to win the district in controversy, SD 10, although not a certainty.

At the time the hearing concluded, General Abbott's team had not reached agreement with all the plaintiffs on all districts pertaining to the Texas House map. With one set of plaintiffs, there is still a battle over Republican districts HD 144 (currently held by Ken Legler), HD 117 (currently held by John Garza) and HD 81 (currently held by Tryon Lewis). Another set of plaintiffs wanted to change the lines of another 30 districts on the State House map in an even larger grab for seats.

With regards to the Congressional districts (discussion of which took up most of the day) the prime battleground appears to be over CD 33, 25, 23, 35 and 27. Of particular concern to the Republican Party of Texas is CD23, which is represented by Congressman Quico Canseco. General Abbott's map is roughly equivalent to how that district was configured before redistricting, while the Democrats are pushing for an increase of Democrat voters there.

There was also a big argument with the Democrats over CD 25, currently represented by Lloyd Doggett. Travis County and other Democratic plaintiffs are arguing that the district should not be converted to a Republican district, since in their opinion the district is protected under the Voting Rights Act - General Abbott's team disputes this. There are also several different proposals regarding Congressional District 33 in Arlington. Additionally, Congressman Joe Barton's legal team (led by former State Representative Joe Nixon) argues that the configuration of that district in the Attorney General's compromise proposal is not allowable under current legal standard. At the end of the hearing today, there was also no agreement on the Texas Congressional map.

Chairman Munisteri issued the following statement regarding today's proceedings. "I am disappointed that the San Antonio three-judge panel again delayed the Texas Primary Election. The Secretary of State's witness today indicated that if the panel would issue maps within the next few days - that an April 24th primary could still be accomplished. However, now that it is apparent that April is out, the RPT will continue to fight to oppose any further slippage in the primary schedule. We will work hard with our Party leadership to come up with a plan to preserve our State convention."

At this juncture, it appears that there will not be an agreement between all parties regarding all districts. Therefore, at this time, it appears that the three-judge panel will have to decide where the final lines are for the Texas House and Congressional districts.

Special Advisory to all Republican county chairmen, precinct chairmen, and party activists from Chairman Munisteri - I am hopeful that the SREC will come up with a plan for the three-judge panel that will still allow district conventions on the date scheduled. Therefore it is our advice that you not cancel your plans to go forward with district conventions until otherwise instructed. I am hopeful that within the next week or so, that we will have a telephone conference with all county chairs to provide them more information on any proposed plans. The RPT is committed to working with each of you to come up with a workable solution to this unprecedented challenge. Thank you again for your patience and hard work.

Watch this FUNNY Political video from Tim Hawkins called "The Government Can"

FUNNY video from Tim Hawkins. It is called "The Government Can" and he makes fun of the oversized and over reaching government. It is VERY funny and has a GREAT tune that will get stuck in your head! haha

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

IMPORTANT TX Redistricting Update: NO April Election. One May 29th Primary or Split April/May Elections

The San Antonio Federal Court had a Texas Redistricting hearing yesterday, 2/14/12. We had hoped for more clarity of when we will get to vote. After the hearing, things did not look so good…. Instead of clarity, we got chaos. A Unified April Election is OUT (won’t happen) and we still do not know when we will vote! We might even be forced to have our Precinct, County and State Conventions BEFORE we even have the primary election!

Remember last week the Court said they wanted a unified April Primary? I am not so gullible to believe every word that this liberal leaning court says and so for the past couple of months I have been adamant that the courts and the Democrats will keep pushing things back and we will either have a unified May primary or a split primary. Guess what, the court changed their mind yesterday about wanting to have a Unified April Primary (is anyone surprised?) and now there will be NO Unified April Primary! There is just no time.

Now it looks like we will have one unified Primary Election on May 29th or June 26th, OR we will have a split Primary (two elections) with the Presidential and Statewide elections in late April and all the other elections in May/June (or whenever the redistricting battle is settled).

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are OK with a split election now that there is no time for a unified April Primary, if there was a way for it to be funded. A split election would cost more money than one election, so unless the state comes up with the money, Texas will not have a split primary and instead we will have one unified Primary Election on May 29th or even as late as June 26th.

After the conclusion of the hearing today 2/15/12 (or whenever the court feels like it because we are apparently their puppets right now), the court will tell us whether or not we will have a split election or one unified election pushed back to May/June.

We are going to have some major problems if we do not have a split election and instead have one unified election in May/June. We have to have Precinct, County and a State Convention. This is required and we CANNOT move the date of our June 7th Republican State Convention. The Precinct Conventions, by Law, are on the Primary Election Day. If the court dictates that Texas will have one unified Primary election in May or June, then it will be impossible to have our conventions on Primary election day. We will have to beg the court/judges/dictators/kings for Judicial Relief to allow us to have our Precinct and County Conventions BEFORE the Primary Election Day and NOT tied to the Primary Election in any way.

So that is basically what is going on. WHAT A MESS! How much longer will we just sit here on the sidelines waiting on the court instead of being more proactive and pulling everything out of our sleeves in order to fight the unconstitutional actions that are being taken against us?

David Bellow
State Republican Executive Committee

Official Statement from the Republican Party of Texas

The Republican Party of Texas issued a statement about all the new developments after yesterday’s Redistricting Hearing in San Antonio. This statement is as follows:

Redistricting Update IX: Valentine's Day Hearing Update

Today in San Antonio, the three-judge panel began a full day of hearing final arguments in the Texas redistricting case, which affects the scheduling of the state primary and state convention. We can report that the Court appears to be backing off of its stated intention to have a unified April Primary Election. This comes after assorted county election officials stepped forward to testify that it would be impossible to hold a unified April Primary Election - even if they had maps today.

Although the Republican Party of Texas had Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart appear before the panel to testify that an April 24th primary election is still doable, our sense is the Court now believes that April is no longer viable for a single unified primary. From the Court's questioning, it seemed that at least one judge and possibly two would prefer to go ahead with a Presidential primary and statewide races in April and the other races at a date to be determined in the future. How the extra primary election would be funded appears problematic at this time. We won't know until the Court rules whether these conclusions are correct. Our best estimate right now is that there will be a single unified primary on May 29th, absent the state coming up with funds for a split primary.

Because the Texas Democratic Party's lawyers backed up Chairman Munisteri's testimony at the hearing that it is practically not possible to move the State Conventions at this late date, one thing we know for sure (and the Court is aware of this fact), is that you can't schedule the primary after the State Conventions unless (as the Democratic lawyer stated) the State Parties can find a field somewhere to hold their conventions and if we could guarantee good weather.

Chairman Munisteri testified to the Court that it would be impossible to select delegates in accordance with the process prescribed in the Election Code, if the primary was not held until May 29th and the state convention began on June 7th. However, the Court signaled that it would be open to judicial relief to allow the State Parties to select their delegates in a way that didn't require precinct conventions to be tied to the primary. The Texas Democratic Party lawyer went a step further and argued that even though the Election Code prescribes the process, that it is their position that the Election Code is unenforceable because the political parties are private organizations and thus they could change their rules without a court order. The RPT believes it would be risky to do so and prefers the route of obtaining judicial permission prior to such action. In the event the Court schedules a May primary, Chairman Munisteri plans to schedule an emergency teleconference with all SREC members and Republican County Chairs to discuss alternative processes for picking State Convention delegates, in the hopes of coming to a consensus as to what to suggest to the court for relief.

The court also heard presentations from several plaintiffs and the State of Texas as to their position relative to how maps should be drawn. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court directed the three-judge panel to issue new maps that were neither the legislative-drawn lines, nor the subsequent lines issued by the San Antonio three-judge panel in November. In issuing that directive, the Supreme Court set forth the criteria by which lines could be altered. Specifically, the Supreme Court said that if the San Antonio panel found there was a "not insubstantial" chance of violation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, that lines could be altered to comply with Section 5. A Washington, D.C. three-judge federal panel has had a trial on Section 5 so as to make a final determination as to violations, but the Supreme Court indicated that the San Antonio three-judge federal panel should issue interim maps which correct any deficiencies in districts in which the "not insubstantial" standard was met. Moreover, the San Antonio three-judge panel has jurisdiction over Section 2 violations of the Voting Rights Act and the Supreme Court indicated that if there were violations of this provision, that lines could be altered as well.

In recent orders, the San Antonio three-judge panel had directed the plaintiffs and the State of Texas (representing the legislative maps) to see if they could agree which districts fell under these criteria and suggest fixes. Last week, the Attorney General put forth a proposed set of maps which addressed potentially problematic districts while at the same time, tried to stay as close to the original legislative maps as possible. Some of the plaintiffs' groups agreed to some of the proposed lines. The hearing today flushed out the differences, with each party stating their differences and arguments thereof. The Attorney General's proposals put forth what it believes are 50 Texas State House districts which have an opportunity for minorities to elect their candidates of choice - a number which meets the benchmark (2010) plan's number of 50 such districts. Some of the plaintiffs' groups however, want 51 or more of these districts, and a much larger number of "coalition" districts, which would likely elect Democrats, but would not have a majority of their citizen voting age population be comprised of a single minority group. Another group of plaintiffs which opposes the suggested lines put forth by the Attorney General, was arguing for 67 majority-minority districts in the State House. In effect, their proposed maps would substantially reduce the number of Republican legislators.

The Latino Redistricting Task Force, which represents a number of the Latino groups, has indicated that they would not object to much of the proposed map, but they disagree over House District 144 (currently represented by Representative Ken Legler). The Attorney General's map draws that district with 48% registered voters with Spanish surnames. The Latino Redistricting Task Force would not accept any lines for HD 144 that do not have at least 50% of registration of Spanish surnames. That particular plaintiffs' group was also willing to accept the proposed Congressional maps which would split the four new Congressional districts into lines which would result in two new Republican districts - an improvement over the three-judge panel's maps but which is down one from the maps originally drawn by the Legislature. Many of the other plaintiffs' groups opposed the proposed Congressional map and wanted at least one more Democratic Congressional district in addition to the two new Democratic districts contained in the Attorney General's map. Congressman Joe Barton has intervened, and is arguing for one more Republican district.

The State Senate map has really only one district in dispute - that being Senate District 10, the district held by State Senator Wendy Davis. Apparently the Attorney General and the plaintiff Democrats are not that far apart in respect to their proposals. Under virtually every anticipated scenario, at the very least that senate district would be winnable by a Republican candidate. The final battle over the lines will determine whether it is a toss-up district, or one where the Republicans will have a slight advantage.

To complicate things further, the Department of Justice sent a lawyer who argued that there were five Texas House districts on the previously-drawn legislative map, which the Department of Justice is insisting be changed because of violations to the Voting Rights Act. The DOJ lawyer also stated emphatically that the federal court panel has limited authority to alter deadlines that were controlled by federal statute.

At this time, it seems more likely than not, that all the parties will not come to an agreement on the Congressional and Texas House maps. Therefore, we are assuming that once the hearing is concluded tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 15) that the final map lines will be decided by the three-judge panel as opposed to the parties in the lawsuit. To add another wrinkle, one of the judges suggested that if the primary will have to be delayed until May anyway - that the San Antonio three-judge panel may delay their decision for at least a while to see if they get a ruling out of the Washington D.C. three-judge panel regarding potential Section 5 violations so that they can incorporate the decision into their deliberations.

After attending in full and testifying at the hearing, Chairman Munisteri issued the following statement - "It is the Republican Party of Texas' position that a single unified primary is still possible for April. If the Court delays the primary further, it will be a great disappointment to Republicans who wish to have early participation in the Presidential primary process. I would like to applaud the work of General Abbott's Deputy Attorney General for Defense Litigation, David Mattax, who I thought did an excellent job refuting the Democrats' contention that Republicans intentionally discriminated against minorities, as well as providing excellent rebuttal district by district to the plaintiffs' attorneys contention that more districts needed to have their lines altered with the intent of creating additional Democratic districts."

The hearing will continue tomorrow, but is expected to conclude by 2:30pm. We should know tomorrow for certain, whether we have a split primary or a unified primary. We should also know whether April is definitely out. We hopefully will have some guidance as to what flexibility the parties will have in altering the delegate selection process. We will provide a further report after tomorrow's hearing.

Advisory to all Republican county chairmen, precinct chairmen, and party activists - In the event that the primary is pushed back further, the RPT will still seek court relief to allow district conventions to go forward on the dates you already have scheduled but with the different delegate selection process. Consequently, at this time - we urge you not to cancel your district conventions as they still may occur on the same day. We anticipate having a conference call with the SREC in the next week to discuss the situation and examine options together. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this difficult situation.